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Four Eye Catching and Creative Fundraising Ideas

Original thinking can help you stand out from the crowd

Marcus Webb

Editor of Delayed Gratification and independent journalist

Boy smiling with hearts over his eyes

Thousands of people use Virgin Money Giving to raise funds for good causes – so how can your page stand out from the crowd? Here are some of our favourite think-outside-the-box fundraisers from recent times…

Since the Virgin Money London Marathon began over £900 million has been raised for charity. It’s a fantastic way to fundraise, but if running isn’t your thing you don’t need to embark on a gruelling training regime and an exhausting dash through the UK capital to raise cash for a cause close to your heart. There are an infinite number of ways you can inspire people to get behind your fundraising campaign – the key is to be creative, have fun, and do something different. Here are some recent campaigns we loved.

Use your skills

Everyone has a talent, the one thing they’re particularly good at. And in many cases, you can turn your talent into funds raised for your chosen charity. Nine-year-old twin brothers Silas and Sebastian are doing exactly that, turning their extraordinary knack for dinghy-sailing into an effort to raise funds for Kent Scouts’ planned 2021 Antarctica mission. Yet you shouldn’t let a distinct lack of talent put you off from trying. Coventry chess coach Paul Lam was never going to knock out professional boxer Dave Allen, but after surviving a few rounds in the ring with the man nicknamed the ‘White Rhino’ (and getting his revenge on the chessboard) he raised more than twice his target for children's cancer charities.

Tell your story

Humans are natural storytellers – and natural listeners to other people’s personal tales. A good story can evoke strong feelings of empathy, and help potential donors become significantly more likely to contribute towards your cause. Take Gez Nicholson, who’s raising money for the YMCA in Sutton Coldfield. On his Virgin Money Giving page he tells his own story of how the YMCA helped him turn his life around when he was homeless 30 years ago, explaining his profound personal connection to the organisation he’s raising money for. Telling people about how the organisation you’re raising funds for has helped you in your own life is a fantastic way of showing potential donors why they should donate to this cause. Donors love to help people who feel a debt of gratitude give something back.

Do something incredible

It’s fair to say that not all of us could run the entire 2,000-mile route of the Tour de France in 68 days to raise money for mental health charities, as Peter Thompson did earlier this year. And very few of us would even dream of walking and litter-picking the entire coastline of Britain, as Wayne Dixon and his dog Koda did to raise money for Mind. And only truly exceptional human beings would contemplate kayaking 4,000km from London to the Black Sea to raise money for Pancreatic Cancer Action, which is precisely what Kate Culverwell and Anna Blackwell did in 2018. But if you are a megafit adventurer capable of a mind-blowingly epic act of selflessness, your supporters will be more than happy to dip into their pockets and help you out.

Do something nice

You don’t have to perform an epic feat of strength and endurance to raise bundles of cash for charity. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of kindness. Tony and Jancis Shepherd didn’t need to swim any oceans or scale any peaks to raise tonnes of money, although they presumably climbed a few ladders while covering their Buckinghamshire village home in hundreds of Christmas lights. The musical light display, which runs every night throughout the festive period and which has become a local tourist attraction in its own right, is raising thousands of pounds for mental health charity the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust.

If you’re after further inspiration for your fundraising, you may also be interested in our articles How to make your Virgin Money Giving page brilliant and Your top ten fundraising tips.

Have you gone the extra mile to inspire more people to donate? We’d love to hear your story and top fundraising tips on Facebook and Twitter.

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